tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN April 16, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
notre dame interior was lost, many of the priceless artifacts were not. remarkably and thankfully, no deaths have been reported. at least one expert said efforts to rebuild could take ten to 15 years. and moments ago french president emmanuel macron offers words of comfort to a nation in shock. >> reporter: it is a great deal to be rebuilt and we will make the cathedral of notre dame even more beautiful, i share your sorrow. and i also share your hope. >> cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson is in paris. and an investigation has been opened, a prosecutor said this is likely just an accident. but they don't have any idea yet, do they, exactly or even generally what started this? >> reporter: they don't. they are working on the assumption, yes, an accident. but it started high up in the
building and in the attic possibly, in the area where renovation works were underway. it is typical experts say that renovation-type work around such ancient timbers, 800 years old, incredibly dry, there is always the potential there that you can have an accident like this. but no, the investigators so far are working with caution. they need to ensure the structural security of the building, although we know the walls and the facade remain standing and remain safe. how safe are they precisely for investigators to get into those high reaches where the attic was that burned through isn't clear. so it is going to take a little more time, i think, before the investigators, the real experts who can begin to pinpoint precisely the nature and what caused it. that may take a little longer yet. >> nic robertson, thank you. and as you were speaking, we're looking at live pictures of people walking through the
streets of paris. and emotional. and as the president said, he hoped unifying for the country. and some of the cathedral treasures are on the way to the louvre after they were stored overnight at the hotel deville which is across the river from notre dame. but france's cultural minister said the most precious items including the holy crown which is believed to be from the crown of thorns place the on the head of jesus are now being held under security at paris city hall. cnn's tom foreman is here with a look in -- in-depth look at the treasures. >> this was a remarkable story of rescue above all else here. look, if you look up inside of this cathedral, you see a stone roof and down from above you would see a lead roof. so what caused this extraordinary confligration here. knick mentioned it, he talked about the attic. the roof was made from 13,000
trees, a forest that once covered an area as big as 39 football fields. that is what was burning and threatening all of the treasures and we still don't know exactly what happened with some of them. there is a relic believed to hold part of the original cross and one of the nails from the crucifixion. that is what believers believe about that. we're not sure what the status is with that so far. many paintings and sculptures, we're not sure if some paintings dating back to the 1600s and we know the roof and spire are gone. we're not sure how they'll go about putting that back together again. but some of the things that we do know are safe now, yeah, you mentioned the crown of thorns. this is the most holy relic kept at notre dame. that was spirited away as the flames rose around the area there. beyond that, we know that the organ survived. this dates back to medieval times. this is one of the most famous musical instruments in the world. it was working before the fire. it has survived the fire.
there may there may be -- water damage but it has survived the fire. and the main bell, there are many here, but this one that signaled the end of world war ii and other eri-- other events arn good shape and the rose windows that help draw about 13 million visitors a year to this cathedral, they have survived. maybe they'll need repairs but they have survived as well. and of course the two main towers up front, the ones you see when you approach notre dame with the famous gargoyles, they are also still standing. so as i said, for all of the fears yesterday, this procession of people getting treasures out of there and now assessing the damage, this really is a remarkable story not nearly of the fire, but of all that survived and could now be built upon. >> it sure is. tom foreman, thank you for bring that story. and this is the holiest week of the catholic calendar and my
next guest said the fact that the notre dame survived the fire is nothing less than a easter miracle. and i want to bring in a historic preservation expert at the university of notre dame which is in south bend, indiana. there is one image you say that stood out to you and it was this photo. we'll show it on the screen for our viewers. one taken when firefighters entered the church. tell us what you see there. >> thank you, dana bash for having me. the photograph is very critical because it was the first image taken as soon as the firefighters entered the building. and if you actually close in to see what is in the picture, if you look at center of the picture, it shows you the altar. so the roof of the building was completely made of wood as nic was saying, but at the same time below it was a stone shell that protected the interior. quite long. even when the flames were going very high and strong.
which we saw also yesterday. what is interesting is when the spire came down, it actually went through that walled space and entered the center of the cathedral. it fell right in front of the altar. so if you see, there is this rubble right in front of the altar. the altar surprisingly, is in tact. now watch closely at the picture. will you see there -- >> it is back up. go ahead. >> yes. there are candles on the side of the altar itself. do you see they have not melted. what is amazing is the amount of heat in that building for nine hours there were flames and so much heat and still this is an easter miracle. this is the part which is amazing. the candles are all in tact. there is no damage around that part. that is the miracle. why wouldn't we be amazed at the fact that something this long and strong burning still allows the altar to be in place.
>> boy, that is such a good point and such an astute detail of what went on there and of that photo. and not to mention that the cross just kind of light and bright right in the middle of that altar there. $700 million in donations already pledged to rebuilt, do you think that is even a start? and i want to you give me the answer as a preservationist, someone who knows what it takes to do this kind of thing? >> yes, it is a good start. but it is not going to be enough. there will be need of more. the whole roof needs to be completely reconstructed from scratch. this is a gigantic complex. the cathedral and the scale of it, the size of it, the way in which it was originally built and reconstructing most of that is going to be a tough job. the floor will be damaged and getting that marble reput and the ceiling, like i talked about when the spire came down and most importantly the spire
itself, made of stone and centrally having good construction in between, that needs a lot of effort and time. some of these are uniquely built and need specialized preservationists and sculptors to come in to do the restoration work. so, yes, the money is very helpful and there is -- thanks to the people that are contributing. but this would be -- the more the better. it is going to help the construction go faster, and a lot more team members could be involved and hopefully in a few years from now, five to ten years from now, you'll see the cathedral back. >> let's talk about the trees. the trees that were used all of those years ago, the centuries ago to build the interior there that are now gone. those are irreplaceable, obviously. >> yes. something of this manner, 800 years of history, many of those
treasures are going to be lost and, yes, while we have found most of it to be in tact, there are still going to be parts that are going to have limitations and damage. the trees, p -- for example, th way they were brought in, 13,000 trees, today to get something of that scale and size, it is not an easy task. talk about sustainability. but there are modern techniques and ways in which we can work around it where you can build the roof and have the look of the roof and you could have the construction technique of the same type, but it will have some modern advantages to it. >> before i let you go, as a preservationist, what lessons should people who are in charge of he had -- of historic monuments and other buildings around the world take from what we saw happen yesterday? >> so, my biggest task as a preservationist, as a researcher
is digital documentation of world heritage sites. i'm glad the notre dame cathedral was 3-d scanned. it was a crucial part of how the reconstruction process can now begin. i would plead that there are more of these opportunities made available for monuments around the world. another thing i would ask is we have better ways in which we protect these heritage sites. as manmade natural threats affect the way these buildings are working, in the history of 700,000 years of history around us, it would be important to protect them in a good way. >> well, that is an understatement. i'll still trying to wrap my head around bringing 13 to you trees in to be used to construct notre dame without any of the modern technology that we have now. not even close. thank you so much. that was fascinating. >> thank you, dana. and up next, bernie sanders releasing his tax returns and defending his new millionaire
status. we'll compare the numbers with the other 2020 democrats. and the white house said congress just isn't smart enough to figure out president trump's taxes. i'll be joined by a congressman who is an accountant. brad sherman begs to differ. and michelle obama is getting pushback for saying living in america with president trump is like staying with a, quote, divorced dad. , i tell my clients not to worry about changing their minds in retirement. you may have always imagined your dream car as something fast. then one day you decide it just needs to be safe enough to get her to college and back. principal. we can help you plan for that. it's nice. ♪ you got this! ♪ woo! ♪ ♪
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(driver) relax, it's just a bug. that's not a bug, that's not a bug! (burke) hit and drone. seen it, covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders just did what he did not do in 2016 and he released his tax returns. ten years after mounting pressure to do that and the man who made his name demanding more from the 1% of top
income earners is now super rich himself and he was called out on that during a town hall on fox. >> your tax rate was 26% because of president trump's tax cut so why not say, i'm leading this revolution, i'm not going to take those. [ laughter ] >> i am -- i pay the taxes that i owe. and by the way, once you got donald trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes. >> do you spend a lot of time vilifying -- >> i don't vilify. it is not vilifying. to save it -- people have a whole lot of money and in some cases billions of dollars of wealth. they should pair their fair share of taxes. >> along with bernie sanders, kamala harris and beto o'rourke released their tax returns and to give us the biggest takeaway on all of this, i want to go straight to jim tankersley, the tax reporter for "the new york
times." and jim, let's start with one of the things that i know jumped out at you which is none of the candidates are hurting for cash. >> no. nob of -- none of them are close to middle class. this is a group of candidates who are compared to the median americanerner, the typical worker, way ahead. bernie and kamala harris are both in the 1%. beto o'rourke is in the 2%. these are not middle class people. >> and we've seen wealthy candidates in the past, including president trump, use, we think, we don't have his taxes, legal loopholes to get out of paying taxes. where did democrats fall in this category? >> well, they are paying roughly what you would expect for people in their income bracket. they take deductions but it is from labor income or book royalties or in the case of congressman o'rourke, people who -- looking at income from
some capital income, but it is not a big business scheme you might say in terms of being able to shield money. so we, again, don't know what the president paid or his tax returns look like, but the question for the democrats is more of did you pay what you owed and for almost all of it, was yes, they did. >> with bernie sanders, a lot of candidates have written books and made money off the books but it is especially interesting and ironic or pick your word that bernie sanders became wealthier as a candidate running against wealthy americans or at least to get wealthy americans to pay their fair share. he may just be doing just that and it appears he certainly is. within the confines of the current tax code. but it is not -- it's a pretty good lucrative job, it turns out, to run for president. >> yes. right. senator sanders is not the first american to make a lot of money
off of calling for a lot of policies that would restrict how much money people can make. it's counter intuitive but it is a liberal populism that sells and conservative populism that sold in the past. but for senator bernie sanders, his campaign yielded book income that vaulted him up the income ladder. and wouldn't be surprised if with see this from future candidates from this cycle going forward. it turns out to be a great way to get publicity to sell a book. >> jim, tankersley, appreciate it. and now turning to president trump's taxes and the democrats fight to see six years worth of his personal and business returns, prompting the white house spok -- the spokesperson to question the competency of congress. >> don't think congress, this group of men and women are smart enough to look through the thousand of pages that i would assume that president trump's taxes will be. my guess is most of them don't do their own taxes and i
certainly don't trust them to look through the decades of success that the president has and determine anything. he spilled out hundreds of pages in a footba-- in a financial disclosure. >> the comments may come as a surprise to nearly one dozen members of congress because they are actually accountants. they are trained in doing just that. looking and making and preparing tax returns. three of those you're looking at on the screen are democrats and the rest are republicans and one of the democrats is sitting next to me as you see. he is brad sherman and you are not only a cpa but also have a law degree and you used to audit big business and government. so with that setup, let me ask you, are you smart enough to see the president's tax returns? >> i'm surprised to see saes sarah sanders talking about intelligence. if she thought that was an important characteristic, she probably would have chosen another employer. but all of my fellow members of the cpa and accountant caucus could understand whatever
documents are produced and i think to not turn them over is without defense and attacking the intelligence of members of congress. seems to be the only thing that the president spokesperson can doo. >> so as someone well versed in preparing and looking at tax returns and as i said, even being involved in audits, what do you want to see? what specifically are you looking for? why do you as a member of congress want to see those returns? >> well, the president has billed himself as generous. we would like to see what charitable contributions he's made and whether he's using questionable loopholes, he should pay what is owed and note of arguments that could fall under an audit or would likely be rejected by atax court. it is one thing to pay less than you would pay if the law were different. it is another thing to stretch
the law and make use of loopholes so we want to see that as well. >> i'm sure you've seen the president's lawyers sent a second letter to the lawyers at the treasury department ch is the department overseeing the irs and saying the irs should deny the request and the lawyer writes this, congress has no constitutional authority to act like a junior varsity irs rerunning individual examinations or fly specking the agency's calculations. if the irs commissioner does not hand over trump's returns by april 23rd, which is what your fellow democrats have demanded, what are you going to do? >> certainly we should get a writ of man damous requiring the irs to turn them over. >> could you explain what that is. >> a court order requiring them to be turned over and get them from the accountants as well. there are strong reasons why we should look at these. it is the only way to enforce
the emoluments clause of the constitution and making sure the president isn't getting benefits and gifts of million dollars from foreign governments. it is also the only way to check the irs is following its policy, which is to audit every president and every vice president and do it in a thorough way. and the only entity that could really look over the irs and make sure they are following their own policy is the ways and means committee and the finance committee in the senate. >> i want to turn on what is going on in the caucus. a member of the house in the democratic caucus and the house speaker's recent comments about the more progressive faction in your caucus, including andrea -- alexandria ocasio-cortez and ilhan omar who have been the target of president trump. let's listen to the house speaker. >> we have these wings aoc and her group on one side. >> about five people. >> no it is the progressive group. >> i'm a progressive, yeah.
however, i do reject socialism as an economic system. if people have that view, that is their view. that is not the view of the democratic party. >> is it like five people? is that fair? or do you spend a lot of time in the caucus meetings -- >> there are three new members of congress who are getting a lot of publicity in part that is because donald trump has chosen to attack them. and we can't have trump choosing who our leaders are. our leaders, nancy pelosi and our leaders are the chairs of the various committees. and to think that somebody -- we have 62 freshman members of congress and there are only three being talked about, that is not a decision trump should make. and the press should pay attention to all 62 of our new members and all of our members. >> but they do have leading voices and incredible following on social media and well beyond their particular districts, isn't that fair. >> they are attacked by donald trump and so they get a lot of
coverage. it's chicken and egg situation. trump should not choose who speaks for the democratic party. the face -- >> do they speak for the democratic party. >> they speak as much as i do. they are represent their district, i represent my district. i've been doing it for 22 years and have been entrusted with the sub-committee chairmanship by our caucus and they are relatively new members. that doesn't mean especially alexandria beating joe crowelly showed a real capacity to win a race against a major opponent. but many of us have done that and many of us have beaten tough republicans as well as beating tough democrats. >> congressman, thank you for coming in and giving us your tax expertise as a cpa. >> no charge. >> thank you. and just a short time ago experts said it could take ten to 15 years to fully restore the notre dame cathedral. up next, we'll talk to someone who knows the cathedral better than most. he's been a tour guide there
every summer for ten years and he said watching it go up in flames was like watching his own house on fire. as we look live at the streets of the streets of paris and people are gathered for a second night to honor the history lost and hold candles as symbols of hope. we'll be right back. visionworks can do more than just make you see great. the right pair of glasses can make you look amazing, too. get two complete pairs of single vision glasses for $59 or two progressives for $99. and choose from over 500 frames. visionworks. we're here to help you.
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the owners of gucci and loreal are among dozens with massive donations who pledge to donate to the notre dame. so far $700 million in all and tim cook said he will contribute but hasn't said how much. joining me with someone who knows the cathedral very well, neal malloy has been a tour guide there every summer for ten years. you're in burgundy right now. lucky you. but from there watching what was going on in paris, what did it feel like to see so many things go up in flames? >> it felt tremendously sad. messages from friends and colleagues yesterday telling me the news and i looked online following that and it was
heartbreaking -- [ inaudible ]. >> so as you may know and may have heard and we've been reporting, there were a lot of treasures that were saved. i just saw a report from the -- from the -- one of the chaplains saying that he helped to get the crown out because he knew the codes and the keys and how to do that. that is a very good sign. but there are things as you know, the not the least of which is called the forest, the internal of the cathedral, the wood that is hundreds and hundreds of years old that is irreplaceable. when you think about that and maybe other things that we don't even know about that you might know as a tour guide, what are you going to miss the most? >> well, as you say, the forest of notre dame was one of the most extraordinary places in the cathedral. it wasn't open to the general
public. very special place, above the vault of the cathedral and so it was nicknamed the forest because of the beams of woods that was often said that each beam of wood was from the trunk of a tree and the forest wooden loft, the timer frame loft was put in place start of the 13th century and so it was very old, 800 years old and it was put in place but when you think of the fact that large trees were involved, those trees had -- were already several hundred years old and so i remember very often walking in the forest and putting my hand on those beams and in 2020 and 2021 you were touching trees which had started to grow in the ninth century at
the time when char lemain was the emperor of europe and the trees across the centuries, when louis was on the thrown or louis the 14th was on the thrown, during the french revolution, when napoleon was on the throne and the first and second war and to see that disappear in the space of hours was unthinkable and unfathomablely really. >> to put it in a that historic perspective tells it all and gives the perfect context to things that -- that are invaluable and irreplaceable despite the fact that emmanuel macron went on national trigs in france and promised to rebuild and make it more beautiful and more spectacular. >> yes. indeed. >> what did you think? >> yes, i thought his speech was ambitious to want to have it
done in five years time. i'm not sure how realistic that is. but he's right to say that the people of france are going to become once again the cathedral builders and once notre dame began in 1163 with the first stone which was placed at that date, every since it has been transformed and so we have a saying in notre dame which is that it is a living cathedral and yes, it is taken a beating over the last two days, but it is still alive and it is still the beating heart of paris and the message is from the president and from the mayor, from the archbishop of paris, but throughout the world, from friends close to the cathedral as well as people who have only
once come through the doors, show that beating heart is still alive. it is a real movement of solidarity which we feel carried along, so it is encouraging. >> neal malloy, thank you for speaking to me. and we're showing you what they are talking about on the streets of paris. the beating heart of paris so beautifully put. ♪ so we're going to take a quick break as we look at pictures and up next, michelle obama was getting pushback for saying living under a -- living in america, rather, under president trump is like staying with a, quote, divorced dad. when you rent from national...
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the former first lady and best-selling author michelle obama is taking a swipe at president trump and also divorced dads. listen to what she said to stephen colbert at an event in london about the current state of america as she sees it. >> we come from a broken family, where a teenager -- where everyone is settled and -- having good parents you know, it tough. and sometimes you spent a weekend with divorced dad and then you get sick -- and that is what america is going through. living with divorced dad right now. >> i want to bring in kate bennett to talk about this.
we were take being this before. you understand where she's going with this. >> sure. >> but to make the analogy by michelle obama is a term used unwoke. and there are a lot of divorced dads, i would venture that divorced dads that don't have the kids on the weekend but a major co-parent. what is up with this. >> i think it was a big misstep on her part. there are analogies or labels or metaphors used to describe the trump presidency and the effect on america and effective ways to do that. attacking divorced dads in a way is probably not the way to go. 50% of marriages in america end in divorce and many of those parents equally co-parent when they have kids and it is not the olden days where dads get the kid on the weekend and give him -- she said give the kid candy and that is fun for a
while. it is not like. i think it shows a rare moment of being out of touch with the rest of america in terms of culture and society and those things. michelle obama typically has her finger on the pulse so that was a strange thing. and it is really caused a ripple today with divorced dads and she hasn't said anything about being wrong about saying it. but i think you're right, it is not very timely of her in this day and age. >> i actually read her book cover to cover and in it she's incredibly open about so much in her personal life with the former president. and one of the things she does talk about is the struggles understandably that any spouse of somebody in politics has with kids and raising the kids and that person being absent. so i just -- i just find it -- interesting, rather, and i also think about the fact that she has done, like, probably hundreds ever these at this point. and she's sitting with the
comedian and says okay -- but having said that, if somebody who was not michelle obama said this, what would happen? >> it would be -- people would be talking about it all over the place. this is the start of her european tour and this is london and sellout crowds and this is the memoir, the best-selling one of all time. millions of dollars in book advantage. if someone else had done this, it would have been a really much larger gaff in terms of comparing divorced dads and president trump -- and her book said is trump -- she made her body bug with fury when he did the "access hollywood" tape and she was so upset and she'll never forgive him for pushing the birther movement and putting her family in danger. and she has viable and articulate ways of expressing her dislike of trump but this is one that truly felt oddly disconnected. >> i think that is probably the
last time we'll hear her make this analogy. but her anger at president trump given the fact she was worried about the safety of her children is understandable. kate bennett, good to see you. >> you too. >> thank you. and we're live -- watching live, rather, pictures in paris as you see right there. huge crowds are gathered to mourn the loss of history. what was lost at notre dame. as a financial advisor, i tell my clients not to worry about changing their minds in retirement. you may have always imagined your dream car as something fast. then one day you decide it just needs to be safe enough to get her to college and back. principal. we can help you plan for that. billions of problems. sore gums? bleeding gums? painful flossing? there's a therabreath for you. therabreath healthy gums oral rinse fights gingivitis and plaque and prevents gum disease for 24 hours. so you can... breathe easy, there's therabreath at walmart.
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nic? >> reporter: last night we had a glimpse of it. the shock of people watching the spire burn and fall and people literally dropping that their knees and singing hymns in the streets. it's grown. there's a sense, i'm sure, for people here that the worst that they'd imaged had been missed and that this is a chance to give thanks sko to -- and to come together and to feel that they are together in this. and the beautiful hymns and the solemnity of what you're seeing and hearing right now really reflects for the people of paris and of france that this could have been much worse. remember, it was this time last night that the fire chief was saying that there was possible, the next hour and a half were critical. that the twin towers here could collapse. that calamity didn't happen. and i think what we're seeing tonight is really a sense of people here having something to feel thankful for, despite the tragedy, despite the horror of what they witnessed. there is still something, a lot to be thankful for.
dana. >> so well put. so many of those precious, irreplaceable artifacts saved. and we can talk more about that later. nic robertson, thank you very much. we'll take a quick break. before we do, just in, a source telling cnn how long prosecutors want actress felicity huffman to serve behind bars in that college admission scandal. stay with us for that. moving is hard.
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months. a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation tells cnn the range of the proposed sentence has nothing to do with huffman's public apology. huffman pleaded guilty to fraud charges and she paid $15,000 to have a procter cheat on her daughter's s.a.t. her sentencing hearing is may 21st. i want to bring in legal analyst, laura coates. what do you make of this recommendation, four to ten months? >> it's in line with what they promised to do. if she pled guilty, they would go to the low end of the guidelines, and since she has no former criminal history score, this is at the lower end of things. part of her prior plea agreement, she could have an even less one from 0 to 6 months. the reason this is so different than lori loughlin is because the amount of money that was used is factored in. what was done to facilitate the crime is different. but this is actually asking for jail time. it could include a probationary
period. that would be after which the crime, the sentence is served, or it could meantime over her head. >> and it is up to the judge to determine this. >> absolutely. you can enter a plea agreement with the government. she can get no jail time or after that, as well. the judge has the prerogative and her discretion. her fingers will be crossed that they'll do what she said. >> you mentioned lori loughlin, this is such a tale of two -- a divergent strategy. obviously, very different -- not very different, notably different, in what they were accused of doing. you mentioned $15,000 for felicity huffman. lori loughlin and her husband are accused of shelling out $500,000 to a fake charity to get their daughters into usc as potential crew team members. i should say that neither daughter rode competitively, maybe evened a all. the fact that they decided to go for broke and plead not guilty, what does that tell you? >> remember, loughlin versus huffman had very different jail times as a proposition.
so i understand why somebody who had a higher jail exposure would hold out for a good plea offer. but it's the government's prerogative to give you a plea offer. and the first one is normally the best one. >> she rejected that plea. >> she added on charges at this point in time. she's in limbo, where they could add more charges against her, they could opt not to give the first plea offer again, and she's at the murphy of the prosecutors if, dana, they actually have documentary evidence to support their claims. if it's kind of a hearsay scenario, circumstantial, it's a stronger case for her, but they have documents and e-mails and phone calls, apparently. it's a hard case for her to win with a good plea offer. >> it's interesting that you said that that is a big difference, between the two. it's not just that they just have chose different strategies and she chose to fight. it's that she had a lot more to lose in terms of jail time. >> she did. and a lot more money was at stake, half a million, $15,000, it makes a difference in terms of the actual crime. >> laura coates, thank you for
your expertise, as always. before we go, just in, cnn is learn that columbine high school and other schools in the area are on lockdown after a threat. keep in mind, the 20th anniversary of the columbine massacre is this coming saturday. updates as we get them. "the lea "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. the fate of priceless treasures now slowly being revealed. "the lead" starts right now. almost $1 billion already pledged to rebuild the iconic cathedral of notre dame as france's president makes a bold promise this afternoon to rebuild within five years. and we get the first look at what was saved and what has been lost forever. breaking today on a story you heard here first on "the lead," democrats are demanding to know more about president trump possibly offering a pardon to his now-acting homeland security chief, if he needs it, for violating immigration law.